Marques Brownlee is many things: a self-proclaimed geek, a podcaster, an ultimate frisbee player. And most people recognize him as an internet personality—you’ve probably seen Brownlee’s face pop up when you look for anything tech-related on YouTube.

Here’s another title Brownlee can add to that list: Skillshare instructor. We just launched a brand new Skillshare Original class with the infamous YouTuber, so we wanted to catch you up on who he is, what he’s up to, and why you’ll be inspired by him.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Who is Marques Brownlee and what does he do?
  • How much does Marques Brownlee make?
  • What makes Marques Brownlee so popular?
  • Where can you follow Marques Brownlee? 

Marques Brownlee: YouTuber, Podcaster, Ultimate Frisbee Player

When Marques Brownlee was in high school, he had to make an expensive purchase: a laptop. So like anyone looking to invest their money wisely, Brownlee turned to the internet for guidance. 

He hunted for product reviews on YouTube but found the content unsatisfying. So when he had his new laptop in hand and discovered unfamiliar features not mentioned in other videos, his “natural response” was to turn on a webcam, he explained in an interview with the Verge.

“I’ve never been much of a writer, so video just felt like the place to start,” he said. In 2009, at the age of 15, he posted his first video.

Eleven years later, the New Jersey native has made a name for himself and grown his YouTube channel into a necessary pit stop for any potential tech buyer. He also heads up a podcast, leads a support team, and plays Ultimate Frisbee semi-professionally.

Since his humble beginnings, he’s interviewed tech icons like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates and famous characters and actors like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Will Smith. He was also recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2021.

As a YouTuber, Brownlee makes his money from a variety of income streams. He earns ad revenue through Google’s AdSense program, brand sponsorships, and selling branded merchandise. Marques Brownlee’s net worth is estimated to be a few million.

Famous Tech-Reviewing YouTube Influencer

Skillshare instructor and YouTuber Marques Brownlee breaks down how a Walkman works on an episode of his Retro Tech series on YouTube. Via YouTube.

Marques Brownlee started his YouTube career posting tech reviews about his HP laptop and accessories. But his YouTube channel, MKBHD, is now one of the most popular tech places on the internet. He has more than 13.7 million subscribers and more than two billion total video views.

His channel’s name MKBHD is a combination of Brownlee’s initials (MKB) and HD (for high definition). Since posting that first video, Brownlee has expanded what he covers—everything from laptops to phones to headphones to gaming devices. He still does tech reviews, but he also showcases cool new tech and digs into the details of how tech works.

Though Brownlee started his YouTube journey filming from home, he now films his videos out of a 7,000-square-foot studio in New Jersey. He’s since graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology, where he’s won a young alumni award. Despite his growth, he’s on a constant quest to make his videos bigger and better, and now works with a team of cinematographers, set designers, and motion graphics specialists to do just that.

Brownlee is also the personality behind the YouTube Original series Retro Tech, where he looks at the nostalgia of old tech, retracing the origins of beloved Polaroids, Game Boys, and the Macintosh. His show has even been nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

In an interview with CNET, Brownlee says he started looking back at tech made before his time. “My whole channel now is new tech, new tech, what just came out? Should you spend your money on this thing? At a certain point, I started looking back.”

Marques Brownlee: Podcast Host Talking 10 Years of Technology

Skillshare Original teacher Marques Brownlee in his brand new class

In 2019, Marques Brownlee expanded his reach into podcasts. Brownlee and co-host Andrew Manganelli talk tech on Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast. They interview entrepreneurs, YouTubers, and other luminaries in the tech space, even sitting down with Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg. Brownlee continues to be tech-focused on his podcast, but he also has spoken about YouTube, the expense of Super Bowl ads, and trivia.

Semi-Professional Ultimate Frisbee Player

Skillshare instructor and YouTuber Marques Brownlee shows off his Ultimate Frisbee skills on his Instagram.

In addition to being a tech reviewing giant, Marques Brownlee is a professional ultimate frisbee player for the American Ultimate Disc League’s New York Empire. He’s previously played for the Philadelphia Phoenix and Garden State Ultimate.

According to an interview with NBC New York, Brownlee says that his “ultimate” goal would be to play in the Olympics. 

Why is Marques Brownlee So Popular?

Marques Brownlee in his Skillshare Original on YouTube Success

It’s safe to say that Marques Brownlee has a lot going on, and his career seems to be on a continuous upwards trajectory. But, what makes him so popular? It’s hard to pinpoint a single trait or characteristic. 

But much of it likely comes back to his authenticity. He genuinely wants to educate consumers about how their tech works and how to choose tech that works for them.

“You can pick up a phone and use a really cool feature for two seconds, and you’re like, ‘Whoa, that’s amazing.’ But when you actually buy the phone, are you going to use that feature? I’m trying to evaluate that,” Brownlee said in an interview with YCombinator.

Ultimately, it’s that level of honesty and relatability that attracts people to his personality—and, as a result, to his YouTube channel and podcast. 

Where to Find More Marques Brownlee

Can’t get enough of Marques Brownlee? There are plenty of places you can find him and learn from him online:

Written by:

Kaitlyn Arford